I learned recently of Kiley Reid’s New York Times bestselling novel that takes readers back to the college campus. Set on the campus of University of Arkansas, “Millie Cousins, a senior resident assistant, wants to graduate, get a job, and buy a house. So when Agatha Paul, a visiting professor and writer, offers Millie an easy yet unusual opportunity, she jumps at the chance. But Millie’s starry-eyed hustle becomes jeopardized by odd new friends, vengeful dorm pranks, and illicit intrigue.”A book about the end result desired and the temptations to compromise integrity to attain said outcomes. Critics are enjoying it, and perhaps this plot has piqued your curiosity. Read NPR’s review here and the WSJ’s here.
You may remember a few year’s back the discussion about refraining from throwing the second dart, a term included in Ichiro Kishimi’s first book, The Courage to Be Disliked. Dedicating an entire episode (#301) to this book, I appreciated its contents immensely. The Courage to Be Happy is the second in his series and is written in the same framework as Disliked “sharing the teachings of Alfred Adler, one of the giants of 19th-century psychology, through another dialogue between the philosopher and the young man”.
What readers will discover in The Courage to Be Happy is “a bold new way of thinking and living, empowering you to let go of the shackles of past trauma and the expectations of others, and to use this freedom to create the life you truly desire.” I look forward to reading it.
Released this past January, I have been saving this book for this week’s This & That post as it is the Valentine’s Day edition. Described as a “crash course in understanding how you show up in a relationship and how to get out of negative cycles”, Secure Love, written by Julie Menanno, a couple’s therapist behind the popular Instagram account @TheSecureRelationship, teaches readers how to establish a secure attachment with their partner to create the bond they’ve been longing for.
Bring on the art, bring on the history, set it primarily in France, and I will be reading this book! Released just this past Tuesday by art historian Noah Charney, The Thefts of the Mona Lisa, such acts that, along with the painting being a remarkable example of Renaissance portraiture, contribute to its being the most famous artwork in the world, “examines the criminal biography of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, with a focus on separating fact from fiction in the story of what is not only the most famous art heist in history, but which is the single most famous theft of all time.
“In the process he delves into Leonardo’s creation of the Mona Lisa, discusses why it is so famous, and investigates two other events in its history of theft and renown. First, it examines the so-called ‘affaire des statuettes,’ in which Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire were arrested under suspicion of involvement in the theft of the Mona Lisa. Second, there has long been a question as to whether the Nazis stole the Mona Lisa during the Second World War—a question that this book seeks to resolve.” Certainly one for sleuths and historians to enjoy.
SJ Bennett has created a whipsmart and modern historically intriguing series with her Majesty the Queen investigates. With Bennett’s inside knowledge of the going-ons of the Firm, she brings an authenticity to the relationships, positions held by the myriad of people as well as respectful depiction of Queen Elizabeth.
The third book in this series only just recently was released, this past September (thoroughly enjoyed it), and already the fourth is available which delighted me to discover. A Death in Diamonds however is slightly different because it is not set in the recent past (the past 5-10 years were the settings of the previous three mysteries) but instead in 1957 when a young woman is found dead in a mews house a mile from Buckingham Palace. My copy is ordered and en route. I cannot wait to dive in.
The Financial Times brought this new historical book to my attention, and released just in time for Valentine’s Day too (February 13th). In Love and Marriage in the Age of Jane Austen Rory Muir “uncovers the excitements and disappointments of courtship and the pains and pleasures of marriage, drawing on fascinating first-hand accounts as well as novels of the period. From the glamour of the ballroom to the pressures of careers, children, managing money, and difficult in-laws, love and marriage came in many guises: some wed happily, some dared to elope, and other relationships ended with acrimony, adultery, domestic abuse, or divorce. Muir illuminates the position of both men and women in marriage, as well as those spinsters and bachelors who chose not to marry at all.”
A wonderful mug to have if you are a teacher, dare I say, a special drinking mug of choice to bring some smiles to the room full of students, but for all of us, perhaps a fun mug to give to someone we love, and available at a good price too.
A head’s up on this one, Yotam Ottolenghi is an Israeli-born British chef, restaurateur, and food writer who co-owns seven delis and restaurants in London, and having already had great success with previous cookbooks, it is his new one, Comfort, that home cooks are eager to scoop up.
Being released next fall in the UK and in October in the states, you can preorder it from Amazon (to arrive in October ’24), or order it from Blackwell’s and receive it the first week of September ’24. But what is all the excitement about, you may be wonderings?
Comfort strives to take a flavour-forward approach to comfort cooking, delivering new classics that taste of home. Let me tempt your tastebuds:
A bowl of pasta becomes Caramelised Onion Orecchiette with Hazelnuts & Crispy Sage, a warming soup is Cheesy Bread Soup with Savoy Cabbage & Cavolo Nero, and a plate of mash is transformed into Garlicky Aligot Potato with Leeks & Thyme.
“With 100 recipes shared from memories of his childhood and travel, Ottolenghi COMFORT is a celebration of food and home – of the connections we make as we cook, and pass on from generation to generation”.
Described by The Financial Times as a ‘joyfully barbed satire on race and writing’, American Fiction is a film I am quite looking forward to watching later this month. American Fiction is based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett (2001) and has garnered many nominations during this year’s award season with five nominations for the 96th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Wright), and Best Supporting Actor (Brown), as well as two nominations for the 81st Golden Globe Awards, and won Best Adapted Screenplay at the 29th Critics’ Choice Awards. Listen to a conversation with CBS Sunday Morning with the four female leads, and read why British Vogue considers the film to be a Best Picture contender that is flying under the radar. Check out the trailer below.
If you are looking for a rom-com this Valentine’s Day weekend, explore watching Upgraded. Set primarily in London, and centering around the art world, the plot begins to take shape when Ana is upgraded to first class on a work trip; she meets handsome Will, who mistakes her for her boss (played by Marisa Tomei). The white lie that sets off a glamorous chain of events, romance, and opportunity, until her fib threatens to surface. You will see some familiar French (Call Your Agent) and British (Derry Girls) faces in this film along with a playful plot set in a beautiful city many of us love. Have a look at the trailer below and look for it to premiere today on Amazon Prime.
I shared another find at British interior designer Nina Campbell’s online boutique above, but I had to include a second find, because this one is a gem, and it is a Francophile Find. Petite breakfast cups & saucers ideal for Valentine’s Day or enjoying tea in a very ‘lovely’ way, her porcelain heart series is made in Limoges, France, and is available in a variety of different colors. Loving the gold fine trim. View all of the colors here.
Alright my fellow home bakers! This unique, yet classic ceramic tart pan will give you the finishing edges of flourish you want with your pastry without having to do a thing. But there are only four left, so scoop it up if you love it!
I will be starting my Apple TV+ streaming subscription back up next week with the premiere of The New Look series, starring Juliette Binoche as Coco Chanel and Ben Mendelsohn as Christian Dior. The series reveals the shocking story of how fashion icon Christian Dior and his contemporaries, including Coco Chanel, Pierre Balmain and Cristóbal Balenciaga, navigated the horrors of World War II and launched modern fashion”. Enjoy 10 episodes, one released each Wednesday beginning February 14th. Have a look at a few of the photos captured on set, and then the trailer below.
French actor Juliette Binoche has a very full publicity week here in the states because The Taste of Things will finally be released today as well as the above mentioned series, The New Look. I LOVED this film, and shared all of my thoughts as well as background details about this beautifully delicious offering in this week’s podcast episode #374 as the film was chosen as the Petit Plaisir. Read all about the film here.
A perfect hip-length warm coat that can dress up the everyday routines, and it’s on sale.
Wide-leg pants continue to remain en vogue, and if you are wondering how to style them, Who What Wear has a detailed post full of images to help you out. Why not add these timeless draped crepe pants from J.Crew (a great price to start embracing this style), and see how they will work in your capsule wardrobe?
Winter is still upon us, but why not lighten it up a bit with a cotton jumper with side-buttons and nautical stripes?
I am loving this new style from Tory Burch, and at a price that is quite nice as well from her collection (fewer than $300). I think the creme hue, but then the brown spoke to me. Not sure which it will be, but one will likely be picked up soon.
A new series I thoroughly enjoyed last year is returning next week for its second season. Set in Portland, Oregon, So Help Me Todd will be back next Thursday, February 15th. Starring Skylar Astin as Todd and Marcia Gay Harden as his mother, a lawyer, the crimes are creative, but not gruesome, and there is a whole lot of fun to go around. With nearly every episode last year, I recognized where they were in and around the city, and look forward to seeing where they will film this go-round. Below is a brief trailer.
Happy Friday. And welcome to the weekend.
The pups and I took a mini getaway mid-week to say hello to the Pacific, something we usually do over the New Year holiday, but thought February might be a beautiful time of year to exchange hellos instead, and boy, we may have found the ideal month folks. Gorgeous weather, abundant hellebores, the daffodils beginning to bloom and a quiet small coastal town. Forget the part where I got a flat tire, needing to have it fixed so I could drive back home, but even that went exceedingly well, and I couldn’t have been more grateful to everyone who helped us get back on the road again safe and sound.
I hope your week has gone well, and you are settling down for a couple of days to let go of having to tend to the ‘must-dos’ and instead savor more ‘get-tos’.
We will be tending to some work today and a bit over the weekend, but also relaxing a bit as well. Maybe up to the mountain for a quick loop or two as fresh snow has fallen and definitely whiling away much time reading, but otherwise quiet and simple which sounds absolutely lovely to me.
Psst! If you live in Portland, I have found, finally! after over two decades of searching, the BEST croissant in the city. Check out this IG post that I shared yesterday, and why not stop in there to pick up a sweet treat for yourself. A Valentine’s to you. I definitely did, albeit a little ahead of time, and savored every nibble. ☺️❤️ (I have updated my Travel Guides for Portland (free!) to include this French pâtisserie – located in one of my favorite neighborhoods in Portland.)
Thank you for stopping by today, and I hope you have a weekend full of moments sipping a good cuppa, strolls to where and what you most enjoy doing and of course, many everyday moments to savor. Until Monday, bonne journée.
~When it comes to finding enjoyment throughout our days, Slow down to fall in love again [Zen Habits]
~How to start a kitchen garden, what to do in February [House & Garden UK]
~The 20 Best Paris Hotels with Eiffel Tower Views [Frenchly]
~3 Types of overthinking and how to overcome them [Harvard Business Review]
~If you’ve ever wondered about après-ski, what it is, where it is most indulged and more, this is the article to read [Afar]
~Parenting like a Parisian [Hip Paris]
~How to achieve great things [Atlantic]
~Life advice from those living to the age of 100 [The Washington Post]
~After listening to an interview with Jonathan Pryce who plays Prince Philip in season 5 & 6 of The Crown, he made a comment about always trying to be interesting and interested which is why I found this School of Life video intriguing and wanted to share.